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Obverse of 1915 Panama-Pacific Commemorative Half Dollar     Reverse of 1915 Panama-Pacific Commemorative Half Dollar


1915-S PANAMA-PACIFIC COMMEMORATIVE HALF DOLLAR

PCGS No: 9357

Variety equivalents: Breen 7431

Mintage:
Circulation strikes: net 27,134 (60,030 were struck, 30 were set aside for assay purposes, and 32,866 were melted later)
Proofs: Unknown

Designer: Charles E. Barber

Diameter: 30 millimeters

Metal content:
Silver - 90%
Copper - 10%

Weight: 193 grains (12.50 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: Small "S" to the left of the date (for San Francisco, California)

Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.

Varieties:
1915 No "S" in Silver 
1915 No "S" in Gold 
1915 No "S" in Copper 
1915 Doubled Mintmark

Notes:
The 1915-S Panama-Pacific Half Dollar was authorized by an Act of Congress on June 16, 1915 as a fund-raiser for the International Exhibition held in San Francisco, California celebrating the opening of the Panama-Pacific Canal.  The Act authorized a mintage of 200,000 pieces, but only 60,030 were struck.  In addition to the regular silver pieces just mentioned, a small number of examples in gold, silver, and copper were struck at the Philadelphia Mint before the "S" mintmark was added to the dies.  No record of any Proof strikings exist, but Breen repeats the rumor of the existence of two Satin Finish Proofs, both with mintmarks.  

The Panama-Pacific Half Dollars were sold individually for $1.00 (see the image of the original sales envelope below), or as part of complete sets (containing a Pan-Pac Half Dollar, a Pan-Pac $1.00, a Pan-Pac $2.50, a Pan-Pac $50 Round, and a Pan-Pac $50 Octagonal), or as part of complete double-sets (containing two each of the Pan-Pac Half Dollar, the Pan-Pac $1.00, the Pan-Pac $2.50, the Pan-Pac $50 Round, and the Pan-Pac $50 Octagonal).

Of the original mintage of 60,030 pieces, 30 were set aside for assay purposes and 32,866 unsold coins were destroyed, leaving a net mintage of 27,134.

Many Uncirculated examples exist, with the most common grade being MS-64.  Gem examples are readily available.

The finest example graded by PCGS is a single MS-68.

PCGS has not certified any Proof 1915-S Panama-Pacific Half Dollars.

Recent appearances:
Brilliant Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 2126

Sources and/or recommended reading (to purchase any of these books, click on the link):

"The PCGS Population Report, April 2002" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"A Guide Book of United States Coins, 55th Edition" by R.S. Yeoman

Images courtesy of W.S. Panitch Rare Coins